Thursday, 17 January 2008

Diary: The People You Meet

Diary: The People You Meet...
The other day as I was picking up my methadone, some guy ran up to me and asked for $4.60 because he was short for a prescription. I instinctively  said "no money" and made up some lame excuse. Hang on, I wasn't making an excuse ... I had no money. Well actually I had $5 for petrol and for some reason I gave it to him. I followed him into the chemist to make sure and he went straight to the methadone dispensory. Oh, I thought, that type of prescription. I was glad I helped as I know a day without methadone is the worst hell there is. Everything has a price though and returning home without petrol only to get an earful from Angela was that price.
Anyway, I went to get my methadone as usual today and he was there. I had a quick chat and another methadone patient got in on the conversation. This was a surprise as after nearly 10 years of getting methadone, I had never spoken to another patient ever. Each of us had such different backgrounds and yet we were all in the same situation. 
One guy was 60 years old with a speed and diazepam history. He went to heroin to kick his speed habit. Speed is my choice of drugs if I had to take one but having to use it nearly everyday would burn your brain out. He was more in need of a partner than anything and told us "love is a drug too, y'know".
The other guy was a single Dad and was considering a computer/business course. I asked how having a young child would complicate matters when prioritising money over heroin but he seemed a bit confused as if there was no alternative to being a father first. He then mentioned that if he hadn't taken over custody, his child might be dead by now if left with the mother. I had seen this guy regularly for years but never knew one thing about him. Now after 2 minutes, I knew the most important things in his life. He then told me his name, shook hands and left.
That's the irony of drugs, like HIV/AIDS, there are no boundaries in place. The much publicised images of junkies with dark eyes, laying in gutters is the work of politicians and moralists who cannot except that 'normal' people can be inflicted because they are stronger than junkies.

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